How to Run Facebook Video Ads Without Breaking the Bank

If you’re using Facebook for your business and only posting organically, you’re missing a huge opportunity: Facebook Ads. 

A few years ago, organic social posts used to reach a wide audience, but that’s just not the case for most pages anymore. It seems that only a few industries still have a good organic reach, like restaurants, sports, fashion, and sometimes, animal causes. 

If your business isn’t in one of those categories, then only about 6% of your audience is seeing your posts. 

When you factor in all of the time and budget that goes toward creating organic posts each month to reach that tiny percentage of your fan base, it just doesn’t make a lot of sense to prioritize them over ads.

Many businesses (and probably your competition) are already running ads on Facebook, so what’s the secret to managing effective ad campaigns that create new customers AND don’t break the bank? Stick around to find out!

More specifically, this post will cover why you should skip static image-based ads and upgrade to running video ads on Facebook instead.

Benefits of Video Ads

According to Statista, the average adult spends about 78 minutes per day watching video content on their digital devices.

Videos have the power to engage your audience and make them feel something, whether that’s entertained or understood or motivated to make a change (like buying your product). 

They also capture your target audience’s attention for longer than a static image. Facebook recommends keeping videos to about 15 seconds, so that’s about 14 seconds of extra attention on your brand than you’d get from a single image ad. 

And, believe it or not, whether your creative is a video ad or a still image, Facebook’s advertising platform is structured to charge the same for either type of ad. 

Because video ads often perform better than their still-image counterparts, Facebook rewards the better-performing creative by charging the advertiser less. This metric is Facebook’s Relevance Score.

So, with better performance potential and no additional charge from Facebook, the only barrier to entry is the cost of creating the video ad itself. 

This creative process is where businesses have typically hit roadblocks since producing your own video usually meant you’d have to incur the following costs:

  • Model or actor fees
  • Location or studio rentals
  • Equipment rentals
  • Videographer fee
  • Editing fee
  • Audio licensing
  • Voiceover acting fees

These costs can easily exceed $20,000, which is cost-prohibitive for many businesses, so they end up skipping video ads altogether.

While Nettra has used high-end production like this for some campaigns, the approach just doesn’t make sense for many of our clients. Instead, we can create appealing, high-quality video ads for our clients by utilizing stock videos and simple editing software. 

Why You Should Use Stock Video For Facebook Ads

You probably know all about stock photos and likely use them on your website and in social media posts, but did you know that you can affordably purchase stock videos too? 

There are thousands of free and affordable stock videos on the web. Sure, there are some cheesy stock videos out there (same goes with photos), but there are also many simple, clean, professional videos that businesses can use to grab the attention of their target audience as they’re scrolling their Facebook feed.

We recommend that small business owners first use stock videos for their ads, even if they have the budget for a custom shoot. 


Using affordable stock video allows you to test different creative concepts against each other for a very low price.

Later, you can put your budget toward creating a custom video for the winning concept. What’s most likely though is that you’ll get great ROI without a custom video and you’ll decide to keep using stock footage. 

There are so many reasons why video ads are worth trying (especially when using stock footage to save money), including:

  • Nearly 60% of marketers report that Facebook video ads drive more clicks than image ads 
  • Video ads get shared more often, meaning you’ll also get free organic reach from your ads
  • Video ads provide more effective branding and brand awareness (Facebook ads come first in our two-phase funnel so people remember your brand when they’re searching for companies like yours)

Facebook Video Ad vs. Image Ad Performance

Our SEO agency has run Facebook video ads for numerous clients. Let’s take a look at some examples and how our video ads stack up against our image ads.

Here’s a video carousel ad that we ran for ZooLights, a holiday event at the Fresno Chaffee Zoo.

And here’s an image ad with date and time details that we tested as well.

From the campaign performance metrics below, the video ad got much higher post engagement (9x), and it also received more clicks. 

We’ve also run Facebook video ads for several of our attorney clients.

This video shows someone being arrested for a DUI and being put in the back of a cop car.

And here’s an image ad from the same campaign that ran concurrently:

The rate of engagement with the video ad was much higher (4x) than with the static image ad. 

When looking to drive higher rates of registration, Fresno City Community College turned to us for help with their Facebook ads. 

We ran this video ad:

And this image ad:

As you can see, the video ad gained more engagement (22x) with a similar amount of reach. 

Video ads may not perform better than images 100% of the time depending on the creative concept of the ad, the audience you’re targeting, and your campaign goals. However, because video ads tend to perform better in most cases, they’re absolutely worth testing, especially when using free or affordable stock footage.

Where To Find Great Stock Videos 

If you want to use stock videos in your ads, you need to know where to look for quality footage. These are our favorite sources for stock videos:

Here are some high-quality examples of solar panel installation videos you can find on Adobe Stock:

The pricing for most of the Adobe Stock videos is $79.99 each, which is a steal when you consider the cost of filming a similar video on your own. Pexels has thousands of free videos, but they’re more creative and don’t cover all business use cases. 

How To Choose The Right Stock Videos

Now that you know where to look, you also need to know what to look for. 

It may take some time to browse and find the right video, but these sites are attractive options for most businesses because of their quality and affordability. 

Instead of choosing a video that’s only tangentially related to what your business offers, you need to find something that fits the overall concept of your ad. The video should tell an engaging story that relates well to the text that will go with it. 

Here are some ideas to get you started on your video search:

  • A potential customer experiencing the pain point you solve 
  • A satisfied customer whose problem you have solved 
  • An employee performing quality work doing the service that your company offers so your customer doesn’t have to do it themselves
  • Eye candy: focus on an image that is somewhat related to your product or service but is very interesting. Wells Fargo did this using Promo by finding the video below of a dog catching a snowball in slow motion:

How To Edit Your Video For Ads

Did you know that 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound?

It’s really important that your video makes sense and engages users who watch the silent version of your ad. To do this, incorporate short text overlaid on your video or include captions. You should also make sure that the text description that goes with your video is informative enough for them to understand your offering without turning their volume up. 

For the viewers who do turn the sound on, it’s smart to include music and possibly voice overs so that the content is even more engaging. 

No matter how people choose to watch your ad, you only have about 3 seconds to capture their attention, so your text and video should get right to the point.

As you create your video content, it’s important to consider mobile design first. Since about 83% of social media browsing is done on cell phones rather than desktops, your ads need to look their best on mobile to catch your target’s attention. 

Some basic information about the ideal video file sizes, dimensions, and lengths is available from Facebook here. For the best performance and visual appeal, make sure your video conforms to the platform’s specifications. 

Our top tools for quickly, easily, and affordably editing Facebook video ads are Promo, InVideo, and WeVideo.

All of these have a lot of user-friendly editing options so you don’t need to have extensive experience in videography or video editing to use them effectively. 

Key Takeaways

  • Organic social media posts just don’t have the reach they used to
  • Using social ads along with your social posts helps you more effectively reach your target audience
  • Static image ads and video ads cost the same, but video ads have significantly better engagement, shares, and clicks, so they’re a much better use of your time and budget
  • Stock videos provide an easy, affordable, high-end alternative to expensive custom video production 
  • Design your videos for mobile viewing without sound, as that’s how the vast majority of your target audience will view them

Creating video ads may seem daunting at first, but with resources like stock videos and simple video editing tools, you’ll be amazed at what you can create and the ROI it gets you for your ad budget.
If you’re interested in using video ads but want a bit of professional guidance to outline the concept and create the assets, we’d love to help. We’ve worked with many businesses like yours and can help you reach more of your target audience through affordable, effective Facebook video ads. Get in touch with our team today to start talking about our partnership.

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